Snack time everywhere is suffering as a Tonito's Pizza Roll shortage sweeps the nation.
Grocery store supply chains have been under immense pressure during the pandemic years. For many manufacturers, increased cost for ingredients and food transportation means fewer products on grocery store shelves. General Mills is experiencing a similar delay, unable to meet its average percentage for customer demand. Now, popular products like Totino’s pizza rolls and Pillsbury dough are becoming a national scarcity.
For General Mills, meeting customer demand at 98%-99% is standard, but its figures have dropped to 70%. According to CFO Kofi Bruce, this is due to a company supply shortage. This shortage has stopped the production of many General Mills favorites, like Totino’s pizza rolls and other refrigerated pizza items. Totino’s, Pillsbury’s, and other General Mills-owned products have diminished in nationwide grocery stores.
Stocking Totino’s pizza rolls were not the only hurdle General Mills had to tackle over the last year. The company, like many other manufacturers, dealt with increasingly prolonged labor shortages, accelerating customer demand. While demand went up for General Mills’ products, exponentially higher prices for ingredients and transportation made distribution even more difficult. These strains on General Mills led to this supply chain halt, not unlike many distributors for food and beverages nationwide.
Jon Nudi, president of retail for General Mills, elaborated more on the demand crisis. The most extensive infringement on distribution has been a “raw material disruption,” where necessary ingredients are not being delivered on time to General Mills plants. Because of this, less Pillsbury dough and Totino’s pizza rolls will make it onto grocery store shelves. It also means that products will take longer to be distributed in general, leading to General Mills’ drop in meeting customer demand.
Though General Mills is dealing with a complicated issue, the company is confident it can get its customer demand percentage up from 70% to 80%. One of the ways the company expects to do this is by changing specific recipes minutely, adjusting to what products and ingredients are more readily available. This does mean some obstructions and changes for conveyor lines and manufacturing workers, but it could ultimately aid in meeting customer demand better. The General Mills team has yet to confirm whether they would tweak Totino’s pizza roll’s recipes or any other popular item’s ingredients.
On top of all of these issues, the price of wheat, a crucial ingredient in many of General Mills’ products, like Totino’s pizza rolls, has gone up astronomically. Due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the price of wheat has accelerated for countries everywhere. Both countries are responsible for more than 14% of the global wheat market, putting infinite strain on the supply chain as the nations deal with unending violence. This turmoil catapulted wheat value by almost 6%, putting immense pressure on food manufacturers.
If you’re inside a grocery store and can’t find Totino’s pizza rolls or Pillsbury dough, the answer comes from a combination of worldwide issues. As fuel and wheat prices keep accelerating, food suppliers try even more challenging to meet the escalating customer demand adequately. Even though suppliers exist in a rough market these days, General Mills has some ideas to get its products back on grocery shelves.